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JERSEY CITY-Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey has leased 14,000 square feet at 377 Skinner Memorial Dr., a 75,000-square-foot medical office building now under construction here. The facility will house Lutheran Senior Healthcare, a new program offering integrated medical and social services.

Michael Gordon and Cushman & Wakefield’s Jon Marks–both based in the firm’s Edison office–represented Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey in negotiating the long-term pre-lease. Developer Landmark Healthcare Facilities LLC was represented in-house by director of tenant development Elisha Pacheco and vice president of tenant development Anthony Lampasona. The company broke ground in December 2008.

Located on the campus of the Jersey City Medical Center, the five-story building will be open to qualified seniors living in Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union City and Weehawken. “As loved ones age and become more dependent on others for management of their health care needs, our organization is focusing on finding ways to meet these needs while helping them maintain a sense of independence and quality of life,” says Susan Arnold, Lutheran Social Ministries’ vice president of fund development and marketing.

A team of doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists and support staff at the Jersey City facility will provide clients with services including primary and specialty medical care; medication, supplies and medical equipment; adult day care; physical, occupational and speech therapies; recreational therapy and exercise; dietary counseling; hot meals and snacks; personal care including bathing, hair and nail care; transportation; and in-home support.

“Our mission is enhancing life, and having Lutheran Social Ministries on our Jersey City Medical Center campus is a perfect fit,” says Joseph F. Scott, FACHE president and CEO of LibertyHealth, owner of the hospital, which sits next door. “We look forward to developing many programs with them and a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship for everyone concerned.”

The deal is particularly significant when taking into account the American Institute of Architects semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, which placed 2009 heath care facilities growth down 3.6% from last year, though this number may be tempered somewhat by commercial real estate’s recent inclusion in President Obama’s Financial Stability Plan. Still, says Barry Poskanzer, principal and partner of Ridgewood-based Poskanzer Skott Architects, “in New Jersey in particular–where there exists a significant affordable housing crisis–there is no better time than the present to help to design and create special needs housing.”

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